One of the oldest horses in the Household Cavalry is retiring today (Friday 26 October) after 19 years of service.
“Thomas” is renowned amongst the Life Guard Squadron at Hyde Park Barracks for his affectionate kisses.
Trooper Nicholas Baines, 27, has been grooming and riding Thomas since November 2011.
“Thomas is a big flirt,” he said. “I’ve had more kisses from him than I have from girls over the last few months. We will all miss him when he’s gone.”
The 22-year-old gelding is known for delivering “huge sloppy kisses” in return for a Polo or apple, as well as kissing colonels, weather girls and celebrities.
“Before the Diamond Jubilee he took a liking to TV presenter Phillip Schofield and ‘frenched’ him on camera,” said a spokesman for the Household Cavalry.
Next week Thomas will retire with Farrier Corporal of Horse Michael Woods in Berkshire.
“He’s a warrior horse who never complains or makes a fuss. He just gets on with the job and makes us look good on parade. That’s what’s important at the end of the day,” said Michael.
“I’m going to turn him out in the field for a year so he can really relax and just be a horse. And after that I will do some light riding with him.”
The recently founded Household Cavalry Foundation provides support to the new owners of horses like Thomas, to ensure they have a comfortable retirement.
For more information visit www.hcavfoundation.org or www.facebook.com/hcmr